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Monday 24th October 2016

Blood infection 'football link'

26th June 2006

Doctors are warning that budding footballers could be at risk of toxic shock syndrome in rare cases, a team of doctors has warned.

The Birmingham Children's Hospital experts cite two cases where children developed the blood infection from blisters caused by football boots.

The syndrome is rare in children - most of the 40 cases a year in the UK are linked to tampon use, the British Medical Journal reported.

But if left untreated it can cause liver and kidney failure and be fatal.

The syndrome is an infection of the blood with staphylococcus aureus - a common bacterium that normally lives harmlessly on the skin.

These cases show that the syndrome may follow relatively trivial skin trauma Mark Taylor, report author said. This bacterium produces a toxin, which in turn causes the syndrome.

It is not known what triggers the bacteria to produce the toxin. The first symptoms are described as flu-like or may involve a rash and diarrhoea.

In the first case cited by the Birmingham doctors, a 13-year-old girl developed friction blisters over both heels after playing a competitive game of football in new boots.

In a second case, a healthy 11-year-old boy played football in a new pair of boots, causing a blister on his right heel. Over the next two days he developed fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, and a rash.

Report author Mark Taylor, a consultant at Birmingham's Children's Hospital, said cases of the syndrome in children were rare, but warned that doctors consider toxic shock syndrome in a child with rash, fever and hypotension.


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